Ekiti State Government said on Thursday that it did not flout court order on the coronation and presentation of the staff of office on Wednesday to the Oore of Otun Ekiti, Oba Adekunle Adeagbo.
The Commissioner for Information, Muyiwa Olumilua, said the state government got the interim injunction of the court restraining the exercise only after the ceremony had been performed by the governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, represented by his deputy, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi.
An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti had in an application by the Obajeu Ruling House of Otun Ekiti granted an interim injunction restraining further action by the defendants (state government and others) on the stool of Oore of Otun-Ekiti pending the determination of the substantive suit relating to the stool.
Olumilua, in a statement in Ado Ekiti, stated, “Government was informed after the staff of office handing over ceremony that one of the aggrieved parties to the Otun Chieftancy Stool, had approached the court by means of an ex-parte application to restrain the state government from conducting the ceremony.
“By the nature of ex-parte applications, the state government is not expected to be a part of the court proceedings, and therefore could not have been informed about the suit. In such matters, it is only when the order to restrain is obtained, that the other party is put on notice.
“In this case, government was served the order after the ceremony was concluded. The return date for further hearing of the matter is 1st June, 2020. The state government intends to vigorously defend its position in court on that day,” the commissioner said.
The state government said that the “handing over of the staff of office” to the Oore of Otun, Oba Adekunle Adeagbo, at the Governor’s Office, Ado Ekiti, was not to contravene the customs and traditions of Yoruba land, but in compliance with the government’s guidelines for gatherings during the COVID-19 lockdown period”.
Justice Abiodun Adesodun, had while granting the court order, noted that the injunction would subsist pending hearing on the Motion on Notice served on the respondents slated for June 1, 2020.
The motion was moved on behalf of the applicants, Chief Adeleke Atolagbe, for the Obajeu Ruling House, by their counsel, Olakanmi Falade.
The respondents in the suit number, HAD/28/2020 are the state governor, the deputy governor, the State Attorney General and the Secretary of traditional committee in Moba Local Government area.
In the suit, the applicants are claiming that it was the turn of Obajeu Ruling House to produce the monarch as against the Iya Aba Ruling House being positioned to occupy the traditional stool.
Justice Adesodun said, “The life span of this interim injunction shall abate upon the hearing of the Motion on Notice already served on the defendants/respondents the hearing of which has been fixed for 1/6/2020 at 10am”.